Distractions: Part 9

They left. Major Justice grunted as he stood up and grabbed a powdered donut. The sugar puffed into the air, leaving white spots on his fatigues.

South Beach Surfer turned toward Cassie and I as she followed Major Justice out, “You’ll regret this. Remember later that we tried to talk you out of it.”

Raising her voice from behind us, Amy said, “Why will we regret it?”

Staring at her, South Beach Surfer said, “Because the Nine will destroy you and everything that matters to you and humans will destroy what little you manage to save.”

Amy gave a half-smile, “We’ll see.”

South Beach Surfer closed her eyes as she took a breath and then walked away. Mime and Shifter followed without saying a word—though in Mime’s case it would have been more surprising if he had.

Successfully getting through the door without getting stuck this time, Major Justice waited next to the podjet until the rest of them climbed up the steps to the hatch.

As Major Justice turned to step into the podjet, Amy grunted and run over to the front door, pulling it open.

Leaning out, she said, “There’s something you should think about. You might not like what we’re doing, but if we succeed, not only does it help you, but everyone in the world. If you want that, the best thing you can do is help us. You need to think about why you aren’t.”

Major Justice’s face tightened and he stepped through the podjet’s hatch, letting it close behind him.

Then it floated it upward and Amy shut the door. She turned back to us, “Other Bloodmaidens have fought mind-controlled people before. Some of them have even been mind-controlled. Sometimes a question that makes people think about what they’re doing can break it.”

Daniel and Kals came down the stairway near the back of the room.

Walking up to the rest of us, he took a donut from the box and said, “You’re right. It might help. They were using telepathic shields, but from the emotions that leaked through, Major Justice didn’t feel quite right.”

Cassie looked over from Daniel to Kals, “You think it could be that easy?”

Kals and Amy said, “No” simultaneously.

Glancing over at Amy first, Kals said, “If it helps, it will be because none of the commands they’ve been given prevent them from thinking about that.”

Amy nodded, “It wasn’t quick when any of the Bloodmaidens were affected. They knew that they weren’t acting the way they normally acted and they figured out why.”

Next to me, Haley sighed, “So it might not work, and if it does, we might still end up fighting them before it happens.”

Amy nodded, “Or even kill them.”

Before anyone could respond to that, a figure solidified next to the shadow of one of the room’s concrete pillars. As bits of shadow turned into the form of a human being wearing a dark cloak that hid his face in its darkness, I had a guess as to who it might be.

When he opened his mouth and began to talk, I knew that I was correct.

If I didn’t know him, the tenor voice wouldn’t have fit his ominous form, but I knew Adam’s voice. From what I understood, his powers came from the fey, but supers from the magic side of things had informed me that he’d switched allegiances from one group of the fey to another.

The new group wasn’t as fussy about morality—which was not a good thing. I remembered that he’d shown a noticeable power upgrade in Washington DC when he’d helped us against the Nine.

In an odd, hollow tone, he said, “I told you there was rot at the core of our teams and you didn’t do anything about it, but it’s good to see that you’ve come around.”

“Yeah,” Cassie rolled her eyes at him, “You remember that bit where you helped a dragon and an army of fairies take over the school? It’s weird how we might not trust you after that.”

The hooded face turned toward Cassie, “I admit that the situation got out of hand. I never trusted the dragon, but I didn’t expect him to bend our agreement as far as he did. Look, I’m sorry for all of that.”

Haley stared at him, “The dragon hypnotized almost everyone into following him, nearly creating an outpost of faerie in the real world, putting everyone in Stapledon in danger of death, and the Rocket nearly lost half of his arm. That’s more than an ‘I’m sorry, it got out of hand.’ That’s a near disaster.”

He took a step toward her, his foot hitting the floor in what should have been a stamping noise, but turned out to be an echo of what it could have been.

“I know I made mistakes then, but I’m better now. Remember how I helped you out in DC? Look, I owe you guys. You cleaned up my mess. You’ve got another reason to trust me, though, and not just because I helped you out. You’re the only people I can trust now.

“You figured out how to counter the Dominators and so you’re the only ones I can trust to help me fight them. Everyone else might be helping them. You’re free of their influence.

“I want to propose an alliance.”

4 thoughts on “Distractions: Part 9”

  1. I keep having this feeling that even the name, ‘The Nine’ is a smokescreen, and it might just be one person with several fronts, or maybe nine(or so) top minions.

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